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What if God would have had a wife?

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Be careful, Penguin, my great mind made sure that you evolved with withered wings...you would not want me to think up some other part of your anatomy to wither...Evil Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Mar 2015 at 20:38
To get back to the original point, does God have a wife?

I'll have you know that in the Negev Desert, they have found an inscription:
Yahweh and Asherah sitting in a tree, Kay-i-es-es-i-en-gee....
Okay, well maybe not that, but they have found in the Negev Desert inscription(s?) essentially showing
Yahweh+Asherah.  And so at one time, God had a wife.
Of course, the Bible has been rewritten multiple times, and so she's out of the picture, but I am sure she
got to keep her clothes and her jewelry.

For those for who English is not their native language, the above "poem" is the beginning of a schoolyard ditti.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Mar 2015 at 23:03
Oh I applaud the topic. What fun indeed and what other reason to dwell here?
The Abrahamic god seems to reflect the violent patriarch god. He who in opulent tribalism would not feed the children that were not of his blood. This patriarch began agriculture to hoard and only feed his own. The patriarch also represents vengeance and punishment at least as far back as bronze age middle east.

A wife now, well the virtues of woman may have been introduced but just as Athens sought a fair number of slaves per citizen, the wives may have been taken in similar order, I don't envisage a single wife. Surely many would be required. Great idea for topic conversation.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." - Mark Twain
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Mar 2015 at 03:00
No, but seriously, look up Yahweb on en.wikipedia, and look under consort.  The inscription is on a potsherd from the Sinai desert, not the Negev, which is what I originally said.  Israelites were pastoralists, not agriculturalists and if ancient Israelites were sometimes vicious to survive, well they
did survive in world that was often vicious.  They have an identity that goes back 4000 or so years,
and that is pretty amazing.  
I think if you put it into terms of consort, there is but one (divine) consort.  Even Zeus had one consort, Hera, the rest were just fun and games and even then he had to sneak around for them.

If you believe in evolution, well then even religion has evolved.  Religion rewrites its script, but what is interesting is that a potsherd from an earlier time of the worship of Yahweh survived in a far off corner of the mideast the destruction of other signs of a consort.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Mar 2015 at 12:35
http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com/2008/12/richard-dawkins-god-of-old-testament.html

Humor me francisosan check out some old testament quotes or listen to Richard Dawkins.. so they were pastoralists and other things as well. Desert is not good for agriculture but Israelites were on the move, they were something before they got to be Canaanites. They were something else and they arrived in the Sinai with their concept of god or at least the seed of the idea. Why the references to farming? It's in the Torah as well see "Gleaning."

Isaiah 28:24-29

Does the farmer plow continually to plant seed? Does he continually turn and harrow the ground? Does he not level its surface And sow dill and scatter cummin And plant wheat in rows, Barley in its place and rye within its area? For his God instructs and teaches him properly.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Agriculture,-Qualities-Needed#sthash.tDRTq6JC.dpuf

Proverbs 27:23-27

Know well the condition of your flocks, And pay attention to your herds; For riches are not forever, Nor does a crown endure to all generations. When the grass disappears, the new growth is seen, And the herbs of the mountains are gathered in, read more.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Agriculture,-Qualities-Needed#sthash.tDRTq6JC.dpuf

Proverbs 28:19

He who tills his land will have plenty of food, But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Agriculture,-Qualities-Needed#sthash.tDRTq6JC.dpuf
Habakkuk 3:17-19

Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds' feet, And makes me walk on my high places. For the choir director, on my stringed instruments
- See more at: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Agriculture,-Qualities-Needed#sthash.tDRTq6JC.dpuf
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gleaning
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Mar 2015 at 23:36
No, we're not talking about Dawkins, we are talking about God and the missus.

What does it mean that God once upon a time, had a cohort (Asherah)?

If God is beyond time (in eternity), then does he still have a cohort, or rather did he "never" have a cohort?
What exactly is a cohort, and where can I get one?

What about Adam's first wife, Lilith?
What about the fact that everything is created out of mud, except Eve?

If you don't want to talk about God and the Missus, then at least address Adam's marital situation.
keep it in the ball park.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Mar 2015 at 00:44
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

No, we're not talking about Dawkins, we are talking about God and the missus.

What does it mean that God once upon a time, had a cohort (Asherah)?

If God is beyond time (in eternity), then does he still have a cohort, or rather did he "never" have a cohort?
What exactly is a cohort, and where can I get one?

What about Adam's first wife, Lilith?
What about the fact that everything is created out of mud, except Eve?

If you don't want to talk about God and the Missus, then at least address Adam's marital situation.
keep it in the ball park.


At one time Baal and Yahweh are married to her (Devers)Ok still, who has talked about her since the Iron Age? If the misogynist god of Abraham wanted a wife he could have kept her.
So why not ask why he didn't?
In fact later writings go on to explain that she didn't exist and Yahweh only appeared as her. What does it mean that the god once had a cohort? That a fertility god in female form was once desirable but somewhere along the way all the power of females was taken away. If she had been kept around she would have been made a murdering demon like Lilith.

Edited by Vanuatu - 24 Mar 2015 at 01:05
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Mar 2015 at 05:40
Doh!  I mean consort, not cohort.
So if power is taken away from all the females, then why is Eve created specially from Adam's rib.  I mean, Adam is dirt made better, but Eve is Adam made better.  I say better, but really Eve is made from Adam's rib, not his head, nor his feet, but from his side.  Rabbis interpret that as her being equal to him.   They even look at Adam as being a kind of androgynous being like Aristophanes' "man" in Plato's _Symposium_.  If you think the Bible is weird, well guess what, it is a lot weirder than you thought.
If you look at the men (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), they're kind of fools and of doubtful morals.  If you look at their women, Sarah, Rebecca and Rachel.  They're pretty sharp.
btw Moses had a handicap, he was a stutterer.  That is why he is always saying to Yahweh that he can't speak.  The Israelites in the Bible are favored by God, that doesn't mean that they're smart or moral or even competent.  The fact that they are favored by (their) God doesn't even mean that things will be easy for them.  In fact, a man's life is traditionally supposed to be 80 years, but for Jews it is 75 years, because they get less because they also get to have prophecy.  Oh, The Old Testament actually does recognize that there are other Gods, Israelites are just not supposed to pay attention to them.
As the great philosopher Yogi Berra once said, "it ain't over until its over."  I would suggest that you look at the Bible and do some creative interpretation, in other words, who says that Yahweh doesn't have a wife?  Bible says one thing, but archaeology says another.  Gnosticism talks about father/mother/son, or sometimes looks upon Mary Magdalen as Jesus' wife.  The Roman Catholic Church even talks about Mother Mary being "co-redemptrix" (sp?).  In other words, Mother Mary is just as responsible for the redemption of humanity as Jesus is, according to John Paul II.  
My point is, so why not write Asher back into the picture?  Or you can get rid of the whole thing like Dawkin's wants to do.  But Stalin wanted to get rid of religion as well, and personally I think that if Stalin wanted to do something, then that might just be an argument to go in the opposite direction.  What do you think?
A book that is really pretty fun is Harold Bloom's _The_Book_of_J_.  He talks about the Higher Criticism source of J, and hypothesizes that it was written by a noble woman in David's court.  Can't prove it, but it is an interesting argument.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2015 at 12:05
Some authors say that in old texts Ezekiel and Job refer to the "Spirit" as a female entity. Both in Jewish writing and early Christianity long before the Vulgate.
Its also more less agreed among scholars that deletion of female as fertility goddess among the Jewish leaders occurs around the time of Babylonian exile. Common people would have held on to mother goddess for a long time after politics pushed the idea aside.
The reasons for the belief that women are pollution among Jews is eschatological, cultural and political. Some orthodox Jews won't sit near women on a plane, there are recent incidents. No doubt Jewish women have influenced culture despite this prejudice.
If the Holy Spirit was originally representative of the goddess and only later neutered into sexless entity than maybe part of the reason for deleting women relates to prophecy about Jerusalem.
What was more powerful during a time of war and Diaspora than the Spirit? Maybe if the female remained in the Trinity than no heresy of Jesus Christ, maybe no Christianity at all.
Reading some of the Jewish law regarding women I'm amazed at the similarity to Islam and even Catholic school.

Edited by Vanuatu - 26 Mar 2015 at 14:27
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Mar 2015 at 04:24
I tend to think that masculine gods are more sky-father, and feminine gods are more earth-mother.  Rain has a symbolically and literally making the land fruitful.  Goddesses, being associated with the Earth, are probably more connected with particular places.  But in the desert there are less "places" in a sense because of the desolation.  Of course, the Abrahamic religions also emphasize places a great deal, but only after God becomes "divorced" from place and becomes universal.  This initially happened with the Babylonian captivity where, in order to survive, the Israelite religion had to become something independent of geography, or rather independent until the new construction of the Temple.

When I was at Whitman College I took OT (Hebrew Bible) and then later NT from a visiting Jewish scholar, Joel S. Kaminsky.  I didn't want to take it from a Christian, because I did not want to feel like I was being preached at.  He addressed the status of women in Judaism, and I thought his explanations were interesting.   He was also a deadhead, and had a good sense of humor.  A girl in class started to talk about the Israelis and he corrected her, say "Israelites, Israelis are those guys who carry Uzis on the West Bank."  (I thought it was funny).  But in any case, I think I can give a little of a Jewish perspective on the purity laws in the Bible, while I think that that explanation doesn't explain all of the attitude of the Hassidim towards women, you might be able to see that it is not as bad, as one might initially think.

I missed a talk last night that my church was sponsoring, it was a woman rabbi on prayer in Judaism.  I had to go to a Ba'hai presentation at the community college philosophy club instead, (which was good).
But, yes there are women rabbis in some of the more liberal Jewish denominations.  btw I'm Protestant (United Methodist), but Jewish or Islamic presentations happen there as well.  And if a class wants to look at Gnosticism, then that is cool too.
I'll try to get to the purity laws tomorrow or the next day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2015 at 03:45
In Israelite religion women are impure during menstruation, I assume that some Orthodox take this a step further, and because they can't tell when women are menstruating (especially outside of their community), they probably assume that they are always impure for all practical purposes, hence rudeness on airplane.  Men are also impure for a wet dream/nocturnal emission.  It is a bodily fluids thing, bodily fluids are supposed to stay in the body.  A man is impure if he has sex before battle, which probably is a good idea in the sense that if a man is trying to begat a child right before a battle then he can't be that confident about the outcome.  Impurity is not something that is "bad" in the way we think of bad or evil.  There is a story about hebrews with the ark walking across a talus field (loose rock), the carriers slipping and sliding, a man reaches out unthinkingly to steady the ark and it is like a lightening bolt, zap! like touching a live cable.  It is not a matter of the individual being bad or good.  Of course, to touch the ark, is the highest "level" of purity.  
When a woman is impure due to menstruation, she cannot touch a lot of things, which mean she cannot work.  There is a story of the women of a village in the middle ages going to the rabbi and having him _extend_ the time period by another week that they were impure.  She also cannot get harassed by the men.  In a Bible passage a group comes looking for their pagan household gods statues.  The women of the other group have them, but can't be searched because they say they are impure at that time.
I say "impure" because an animal like a hawk (which attacks other birds), or a pig or a dog is unclean, and really can't be made clean.  One book about purity recommended was Mary Douglas _Purity_and_Danger_, which is an anthropological look at purity.
Of course, if you are orthodox, you are not supposed reason or rationalize why the Laws are there or what they say.  Orthodox can get obnoxious about adherence to their rules, but they also have a very strong self-identity that has insured that Hebrew/Israelite/Jewish identity has been maintained for thousands of years


Edited by franciscosan - 29 Mar 2015 at 04:21
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Mar 2015 at 07:20
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

In Israelite religion women are impure during menstruation, I assume that some Orthodox take this a step further, and because they can't tell when women are menstruating (especially outside of their community), they probably assume that they are always impure for all practical purposes, hence rudeness on airplane.  Men are also impure for a wet dream/nocturnal emission.  It is a bodily fluids thing, bodily fluids are supposed to stay in the body.  A man is impure if he has sex before battle, which probably is a good idea in the sense that if a man is trying to begat a child right before a battle then he can't be that confident about the outcome.  Impurity is not something that is "bad" in the way we think of bad or evil.  There is a story about hebrews with the ark walking across a talus field (loose rock), the carriers slipping and sliding, a man reaches out unthinkingly to steady the ark and it is like a lightening bolt, zap! like touching a live cable.  It is not a matter of the individual being bad or good.  Of course, to touch the ark, is the highest "level" of purity.  
When a woman is impure due to menstruation, she cannot touch a lot of things, which mean she cannot work.  There is a story of the women of a village in the middle ages going to the rabbi and having him _extend_ the time period by another week that they were impure.  She also cannot get harassed by the men.  In a Bible passage a group comes looking for their pagan household gods statues.  The women of the other group have them, but can't be searched because they say they are impure at that time.
I say "impure" because an animal like a hawk (which attacks other birds), or a pig or a dog is unclean, and really can't be made clean.  One book about purity recommended was Mary Douglas _Purity_and_Danger_, which is an anthropological look at purity.
Of course, if you are orthodox, you are not supposed reason or rationalize why the Laws are there or what they say.  Orthodox can get obnoxious about adherence to their rules, but they also have a very strong self-identity that has insured that Hebrew/Israelite/Jewish identity has been maintained for thousands of years
 
The Christian (and Muslim) God is ethereal, to the believers God is all knowing, all seeing.
 
On that basis, God could not have a wife, as opposed to Egyptian and other animist religions which worship an earthly animal or bird.
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Mar 2015 at 01:32
And yet, Yahweh had a consort.  If God could have a son/be a son, then he could be a wife/have a wife.  I wouldn't claim to know what that would mean, but then again I don't claim to know what the trinity means.  Would that view be heretical?  Perhaps, but then again heresy (meaning 'choice') is popular these days.  I'm not saying that is bad or good, I'm just saying that the triumph of atheism is over-exaggerated. 
The Christian God is thought of as incorporeal, although since God is both transcendent and immanent (and thus everywhere) I am not sure that he is not also 'with' or 'in' the physical world.  I think that "ethereal" is not exactly the right word, because there is a whole pseudo-scientific theory of ether, not to be confused with the gas. 
All knowing, All seeing, All powerful, All good, and yet there is evil.  As Devil's Advocate, I am sure you are familiar with the problem of evil:)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paradigm of Humanity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2015 at 00:22
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:


The Christian (and Muslim) God is ethereal, to the believers God is all knowing, all seeing.
 
On that basis, God could not have a wife, as opposed to Egyptian and other animist religions which worship an earthly animal or bird.
 

Somewhat unrelated but there is this confusion when it comes to the naming. In Arabic "Muslim" means "the one who submitted (to the God)". So, that makes Adam, Jonah, Noah, Jesus, David, Moses and people who had followed them also Muslims. This is not just a mumbling from my part. It is as I'm saying all over Islamic literature without an exception. If it is the followers of Muhammad that had been intended to be addressed, then it is much more appropriate to use "Muhammedan" (Muhammadî in Arabic). Also:

Isevî (Ara.) = those who follow Jesus
Musevî (Ara.) = those who follow Moses
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2015 at 00:32
Originally posted by Paradigm of Humanity Paradigm of Humanity wrote:

Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:


The Christian (and Muslim) God is ethereal, to the believers God is all knowing, all seeing.
 
On that basis, God could not have a wife, as opposed to Egyptian and other animist religions which worship an earthly animal or bird.
 

Somewhat unrelated but there is this confusion when it comes to the naming. In Arabic "Muslim" means "the one who submitted (to the God)". So, that makes Adam, Jonah, Noah, Jesus, David, Moses and people who had followed them also Muslims. This is not just a mumbling from my part. It is as I'm saying all over Islamic literature without an exception. If it is the followers of Muhammad that had been intended to be addressed, then it is much more appropriate to use "Muhammedan" (Muhammadî in Arabic). Also:

Isevî (Ara.) = those who follow Jesus
Musevî (Ara.) = those who follow Moses

Thanks for that PoH. Always willing to learn from those who know.Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Apr 2015 at 15:46
From my understanding, "Muhammedan" can be taken as faintly offensive, because Muslims do not worship Muhammad.  Of course, that might just be a convention in scholarship here in the United States.  But that said, you will understand why I will stick to the term "Muslim."  Context will show that I am not talking about Old Testament figures.

If "Muhammedan" _is_ faintly offensive, I would suggest it as a possible designator of the type of Muslim who wants to kill over whether 'the Prophet' has been slandered.  But on the other hand, if it isn't offensive or it is acceptable to respectable Muslims, then I wouldn't want to do that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paradigm of Humanity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2015 at 02:25
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

From my understanding, "Muhammedan" can be taken as faintly offensive, because Muslims do not worship Muhammad.  Of course, that might just be a convention in scholarship here in the United States.  But that said, you will understand why I will stick to the term "Muslim."  Context will show that I am not talking about Old Testament figures.

If "Muhammedan" _is_ faintly offensive, I would suggest it as a possible designator of the type of Muslim who wants to kill over whether 'the Prophet' has been slandered.  But on the other hand, if it isn't offensive or it is acceptable to respectable Muslims, then I wouldn't want to do that.

The term "Muhammedan" gradually fell from use after 1960s, before a millennia of usage. I had been surprised when I first heard some taking it offensive. This should be handled as broader subject in order to solve quite some issues we are facing today.

We have to call other people with a specific word so they can realise it is them who we are addressing at the moment. That's why we suddenly feel flabbergasted and listen with utmost attention when we hear someone is calling our name, even when a stranger calling another stranger with same name as ours. It's very useful, no need to explain that further. So, we name our children, our pets (sometimes even wild animals), ships, cities, streets and other stuff... These names are not meant to be literal or objective. Women across many cultures named with names of flowers but that doesn't mean they belong to kingdom of Plantae nor a boy named "Zeki (smart in Turkish)" destined to be smart. (Some English/British ships had funny names like "Invincible", "Sovereign of the Seas", "Indomitable" etc.)

Then there are nicknames. These tend to be associated with something more objective but not necessarily has to be so. Nicknames usually come from some behavioral or bodily trait like Jack the Ripper or Timur the Lame. Or some accomplishment like William the Conqueror or Hacı Murad (Murad the Pilgrim). And some times they are not used so fairly, which we call name calling.

And here we are with semi-objective and objective names, a.k.a. descriptions. They too form substantial part of our identity. These exist in several groups. With some examples and what they tell me:

(Place) Ignatius of Antioch: This person of Ignatius certainly had to be born in Antioch or at least lived substantial part of his life in Antioch. Quite objective I say.

(Degree) Prof. (of Mathematics) Jeffrey Lang: This person has achieved degree of professor in his field.

(Title) Emperor Hirohito/Showa: This person is an Emperor in some time frame, either de jure, de facto or both.

(Profession) Medical Doctor: You would prefer a person who has professing M.D. for your critical surgery rather than the one who's nickname is "doctor". Profession names quite descriptive and objective indeed.

(Ethnicity) Khmer: If a person is called "Khmer" I know he or she is of Southeast Asian origin. Though ethnicity goes hand to hand with nationality in many countries who vigorously and generally violently established nation states (scourges of earth I call them, very subjective indeed, perhaps "modern tribal states" could be more appropriate). But there are quite a lot of grey areas when determining ethnicity because there are no clear boundaries between ethnicities. Ethnic difference becomes much more visible when compared sample of people are chosen from more distant ancestry.

(Race or macro ethicity) Negro/Black: This person is of Subsaharan African ancestry. The words negro (black in latin) or black points to heavier pigmentation of skin and other visible parts of body. Because it is very visible indicator of a person of Subsaharan African origin. But a recurring strange phenomena happened and the word Negro (which are said to be replaced "coloured" as a "more polite word") started to be considered offensive.

(Religion): Now we have come to our prime subject. Different religions or sects tend to disagree each other in ways that are mutually exclusive. That's were subjectivity and thus contradiction may arise. A splinter sect who are considered as heretics by its mainstream religion may call itself as "the true believers" or "the ones who are in most true path". My intervention came at this point. Since Jews and Christians are certain to reject when we say "we are true to the what Jesus and Moses brought" - (otherwise they had to accept our fairly strong thesis of their sources and practices are corrupted over time, which is not the case with us) - naming convention of using the name of specific prophets is both objective and acceptable to all parties.

Edited by Paradigm of Humanity - 03 Apr 2015 at 01:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Apr 2015 at 03:06
It is the silliness of the political correctness of the contemporary university scene that makes people wonder about the correctness of "Muhammedan".  But faced by the silliness, what should one do if one is primarily associated with the university?  Follow the silliness? or beat one's head against the wall?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 2015 at 01:52
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

It is the silliness of the political correctness of the contemporary university scene that makes people wonder about the correctness of "Muhammedan".  But faced by the silliness, what should one do if one is primarily associated with the university?  Follow the silliness? or beat one's head against the wall?

 
Sometimes beating ones head against the wall ends up being the preferential action.
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Challenging what is a consensus is hard. Academia is no different.

Back to the point. Definitions hold power. A few examples:

They decide who is the victim and who is the criminal. Current definition of "terrorist" doesn't makes acts of "terroist"s any less acceptable - they already are. Purpose of this definition is justifying of extreme acts (without any fair reason in many cases) of the state actors against who they don't like.

They decide who is the expert and who is the nobody. When discussing a sociological issue (on a tv program for example), a professor of sociology holds immense power to dictate many things - especially if he/she is the only academician invited. It is quite common for tv channels to invite an academician of same political background of the channel's. So that academician may abuse his/her position of authority to advance a particular agenda.

Examples may be multiplied but you get the idea. We can't hand over the privilege of "defining us" to others so easily.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paradigm of Humanity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 2015 at 02:29
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

It is the silliness of the political correctness of the contemporary university scene that makes people wonder about the correctness of "Muhammedan".  But faced by the silliness, what should one do if one is primarily associated with the university?  Follow the silliness? or beat one's head against the wall?

 
Sometimes beating ones head against the wall ends up being the preferential action.

We have a silly thing going on in Turkey. Mustafa Kemal (or Ataturk as he fancied himself) and Kemalism is displaced but still we can't talk about Kemal or remove his statues (probably highest per capita in the world). Same as China, where communism is displaced but speaking against communism is scorned by both public and the state.

I can talk I want about Kemalism but I prefer to keep it to myself that I don't like M. Kemal at best if I need my grades from my Kemalist teacher. Neither I would prefer to be scorned by my Kemalist cousins just because I don't like M. Kemal.

Same may go with women issue or race issue...



Edited by Paradigm of Humanity - 03 Apr 2015 at 02:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 2015 at 03:55
Every once in awhile the wall moves.  But as far as strategy is concerned, usually a frontal assault
is the worse way to take on an opposing force (or imposing force as the case may be).

Getting back to the name issue, there is the map and then there is the territory.  Way back in Boy Scouts, I found it fascinating that for the Boundary Waters (Minnesota/Canada), there were lakes and inlets, etc. on the map that were not there in the terrain.  A name often acts as a simple characterization of some kind of phenomena, Christianity for example.  Religion, however, is anything but simple.  Most Christians vaguely recognize certain beliefs as key to their religion (Nicean Creed).  I say "vaguely" because most Christians are not theologians, and generally do not engage with the beliefs in any coordinated way.  
However, we know that historically there were Christians before the Nicean Creed.  We know that Christianity existed before the New Testament existed a a body of work.  We also know that there could be a simple individual in a church who is not capable of understanding the theology even if they were instructed in it, that individual would be considered a Christian (as long as they acted like one).  
So the simple rule is that Christianity is about orthodoxy, "straight belief," but we find in certain cases individuals who would proclaim their Christian inspiration, who we should also not be too quick to exclude, but would not meet the belief criteria (but perhaps would meet a practice criteria, love they neighbor, love thy God).  Belief is important, but historically it has not always been entirely sufficient or even necessary for Christianity.  So again, we have a question of the map and the territory, do we want to reject or at least [bracket] the map of Christianity=belief? or do we want to exclude all those early Christians who did not have the new, improved, complete, "true" Bible and the Nicean Creed?  Perhaps, the early days were an exception, but what about the simpleton (or on the other hand), the professor who inspired by early Christianity, does not look upon her Christianity as merely just belief (Pagels).

This leads us back to the issue of this thread.  God and his wife (or consort).  What does it mean that once upon a time, the "map" of Heaven included a wife of God.  The potsherd fragment supporting the Yahweh/Asherah match, is evidence for an old "map" of heaven which may show features that our current map doesn't show, or of course those features might be "fanciful," not just imaginative, (imagination is the faculty which the intellect uses to communicate.)  We might not want to rewrite theology over it.  But at the same time it is not nothing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paradigm of Humanity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 2015 at 04:57
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

This leads us back to the issue of this thread.  God and his wife (or consort).  What does it mean that once upon a time, the "map" of Heaven included a wife of God.  The potsherd fragment supporting the Yahweh/Asherah match, is evidence for an old "map" of heaven which may show features that our current map doesn't show, or of course those features might be "fanciful," not just imaginative, (imagination is the faculty which the intellect uses to communicate.)  We might not want to rewrite theology over it.  But at the same time it is not nothing.


These issues fall into a category called "israilliyyat" in Islamic literature.

Originally posted by Wikipedia Wikipedia wrote:


In hadith studies, Isra'iliyyat (اسرائیلیات "of the Israelites") is the body of narratives originating from Jewish and Christian traditions, rather than from other well-accepted sources that quote the Islamic prophet Muhammad.[1] These narratives are found mainly in works of Qur'anic commentaries and history compilations. They contain information about earlier prophets mentioned in the Bible and the Qur'an, stories about the ancient Israelites, and fables allegedly or actually taken from Jewish sources.[2]

Muslim scholars generally classify the narratives of the Isra'iliyyat into three categories:

  • Those considered to be true because the revelation to Muhammad confirms them.
  • Those considered to be false because the revelation to Muhammad rejects them.
  • Those not known to be either true or false.[1]
Be it gigantic discoveries like Dead Sea Scrolls or discovery of 1500 year old Aramaic Bible, they are of great importance to us. A week or two ago IIRC, I was listening a lecture about history of ancient Israelites (as part of broader lectures about history of abrahamic religions). I couldn't remember everything because I was surfing internet simultaneously but I've the recording (in Turkish language). Anyway, history of Israelis are no way a linear one for us. I know most people lean towards a linear understanding of history. Such as a polytheist society slowly evolves into a monotheist one. But in our history of religions, Israelis repeatedly accepted monotheism after arrival of a prophet and hastily went back to polytheism after a few generations of passing of that prophet.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Apr 2015 at 06:43
I think that a close look at the Hebrew Bible (OT) shows that there are other gods out there, the Hebrews and the Israelites are just not supposed to recognize them.  "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." and also the fact that the Egyptian priests are able to keep up with Moses' miracles, at first.  Technically ancient Judaism is a henatheism, not a monotheism.  In other words, there are a plurality of Gods but Ancient Judaism recognizes only one.  Christianity, with the mystery of the trinity, may be closer to recognizing a feminine side to God.  Mystics such as Julian of Norwich sometimes refer to God the mother.

So what does one do to revelations that Muhammad rejects?  Are they studied?  How are they to be studied?



Edited by franciscosan - 06 May 2015 at 07:13
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Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

I think that a close look at the Hebrew Bible (OT) shows that there are other gods out there, the Hebrews and the Israelites are just not supposed to recognize them.  "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

I disagree. We can speak of false gods as Israelites could. Anything that is being worshiped can be considered as a god/deity. This doesn't connotes a person speaking of "gods of ancient Greeks" actually believes divinity of or even existence of gods of ancient Greeks. Frankly, it would never cross from my mind if I red that verse (Thou shalt have no other gods before me) before by myself.

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:


and also the fact that the Egyptian priests are able to keep up with Moses' miracles, at first.

Egyptian priest were illusionists, Moses's miracles were actual disruption of causality. Illusions too instill awe and fear until they are understood.

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:


So what does one do to revelations that Muhammad rejects?  Are they studied?  How are they to be studied?

Yes, they are part of the study. It's reliable one everyone chooses when a reliable chain of reports of known origin putted against unreliable reports of unknown origin. Thus they are mostly of historical value. They cannot in any way alter Islamic theology. Only way to question originality of Islamic theological sources is directly questioning their reliability.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2015 at 07:25
You can disagree if you want, but my interpretation is just what I remember that a Jewish Bible scholar taught, the ancient Hebrews recognized that other people had other gods, it was just that as followers of YHWH, they could not, because of their covenant, attend to them or recognize them in any way, including recognizing them in treaties.  With Moses and the plagues, the priest of Egypt were able to imitate them, to a certain extent, which showed that their gods had some power, just not the power of YHWH.  Again, this is the interpretation that the Jewish Biblical scholar made.  If you want to contrast demonic power that works only within the rules of nature, with Moses' power (or God's power through Moses) which can go against the laws of nature, or causality as you say, well fine.  But that is a rather philosophical distinction which would not have been made in the time of Moses, and in that sense is a little anachronistic
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 May 2015 at 02:55
This thread presupposes that God (which God is not disclosed) has all of the human functions and needs as we do.
  1. Which God are we talking about?
  2. Why would God want/need a wife?
  3. What would the wifes purpose be? and
  4. It is all based on the theory that there is a God.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 May 2015 at 06:06
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:





This thread presupposes that God (which God is not disclosed) has all of the human functions and needs as we do.
  1. Which God are we talking about?
  2. Why would God want/need a wife?
  3. What would the wifes purpose be? and
  4. It is all based on the theory that there is a God.

 



Maybe the presumption is that God is in us. People worshiped the spirit that the goddess artifacts represented. We can be representative of God when we observe truth, beauty, compassion and creativity the obverse, human attributes ; and the flip side of false belief, ugliness, cruelty and destruction the reverse, human attributes and some denial of God in us.








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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2015 at 03:49
Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:

Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:





This thread presupposes that God (which God is not disclosed) has all of the human functions and needs as we do.
  1. Which God are we talking about?
  2. Why would God want/need a wife?
  3. What would the wifes purpose be? and
  4. It is all based on the theory that there is a God.

 



Maybe the presumption is that God is in us. People worshiped the spirit that the goddess artifacts represented. We can be representative of God when we observe truth, beauty, compassion and creativity the obverse, human attributes ; and the flip side of false belief, ugliness, cruelty and destruction the reverse, human attributes and some denial of God in us.

 
 
Once again, playing Devils Advocate, your basic presumption is that there is a God, a supernatural all pervasive God, capable of all sorts of things. Your assumption is that there is one God.
 
Around the world, millions of people will disagree with you, claiming instead that there are a number of gods. Are they necessarily wrong?
 
Also in many cultures, the gods have different forms and control different aspects of a persons life, are they all wrong too?
 
Could it be that Christianity, for example, is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on human kind?
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 May 2015 at 05:19
We know a tree by its fruit.

If it is a hoax, well then so what?  Does the capital 'T' truth depend on factual accuracy?  Or is it that what the story is, the overarching "theme" more important than the details.  Look at, say, Patrick Stewart's King Lear, kind of set in a fascist setting.  Isn't there a "literary" truth (I mean that in a vague sense) that goes further than any facticity can go?  I don't mean "literalism," I mean Jesus turning the water into wine at the wedding reception.  Water is the proper drink of man, wine is the proper drink of the gods (God), isn't fitting that marriage transforms a couple into a divine state?  The symbolism is much more important than making grape juice.  So if it is a hoax, it is a divine hoax and we should be blessed for falling for it.  From it, I think that people do more good than evil, but of course that is debatable, especially with people who are selective with the evidence.

I don't have any problem with being a Christian and also believing that there are other gods out there.
Exodus says, "thou shalt not have any Gods before me," which means to me that there must be other gods out there, although as a Christian, I can't pay attention to them.  I can though, pay attention to the people who believe in them, and have respect for those people.  Although, looking at Elaine Pagels "Beyond Belief," I like the idea that maybe Christianity is not so much about belief, and more about, maybe, treating people decently and achieving an inner calm.  But, I haven't read that book yet, and so all I have is a little taste, and knowledge that there is something out there more than fundamentalist literalism.  If someone wants to get worked up on miracles on either side of the fence, well let them.  It is above my paygrade to explain them, and if Christianity is not about belief, then it is not necessary to believe in them.
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